Dental Sleep Medicine is at an early stage of development in the UK and EU. Several disorders have been identified that require the input of a qualified Dental Sleep Medicine Specialist.
Snoring, Upper Airways Resistance Syndrome (UARS) and Sleep Apnoea
Dental Sleep Medicine involves the management of Snoring, UARS and OSA using oral appliance therapy for adults, and orthopaedic correction and development for children. This treatment is recognised by the medical community and provided by dentists trained in Dental Sleep Medicine.
Temporomandibular Joint (TMJ) Disorders
Our two TMJ’s (temporomandibular joints) – one on each side of our head in front of the ears allow the jaw to open and close, move side to side, forward and backward. Unlike any other joints of the body, these joints generally move at the same time. When one or both aren’t functioning properly, it is referred to as “dysfunction”. This is commonly caused by the displacement of the cartilage (disc).Temporomandibular joint and muscle disorders (TMDs) refer to a complex set of conditions that can cause pain in the area of the jaw joint and associated muscles and/or problems using the jaw. Both or just one of the TM joints may be affected.
TMDs can affect a person’s ability to speak, eat, chew swallow, make facial expressions and even breathe. When untreated, it can cause other parts of the face, head and neck to hurt, even though the tissues are intact and do not have a problem themselves.
Causes of TMD
Not all causes are known for TMD. The most common cause is bruxism (grinding), or clenching of the teeth in our sleep. There is new evidence showing a relationship with bruxism as a ‘protective mechanism’ to keep our airway open while we sleep and prevent us from stopping breathing;
Other factors include dental procedures, Arthritis, injuries, genetics, hormones, low-level infections, autoimmune diseases, and even stretching of the jaw that occurs with inserting a breathing tube before surgery.
Treatment for TMD
At SigmaSleep.com we provide an individualised treatment plan for each of our patients. This may include day and/or night appliances, Chiropractic referral, ENT referral, Nutritional advice or Orthodontics or physical therapies using lasers or medications to correct acute pain. For further information on our TMJ & Dental Sleep Medicine Services please Contact Us.